Did Comedy Central rip off Kiwi comedy Funny Girls?

Funny Girls screened the Career Girl sketch in October 2015.
Funny Girls screened the Career Girl sketch in October 2015.

The makers of Kiwi comedy series Funny Girls aren't laughing about a video sketch posted by Comedy Central, which bears a striking resemblance to one that featured on their show last year.

But while the US writers deny ever seeing the local comedy series, the Herald can reveal they have a close Kiwi connection.

The Glass Ceiling: A Game for Girls video was posted on Comedy Central's YouTube channel two days ago and has been viewed more than 85,000 times.

It closely mirrors the Funny Girls' sketch Career Girls, which screened in October, with both videos featuring near-identical theme songs, set up and shot selection.

The Funny Girls sketch screened on TV3 last October.
The Funny Girls sketch screened on TV3 last October.
The Comedy Central sketch was posted to YouTube on March 30.
The Comedy Central sketch was posted to YouTube on March 30.

TV personality Matt Gibb was the first to spot the similarities, bringing it to the attention of Funny Girls' makers and Comedy Central on Twitter.


Funny Girls creator Rose Matafeo retweeted his post, describing the situation as "messed up".

Scottish comedian Janey Godley also weighed in, calling it "f***ing shocking" and calling on Comedy Central to respond.

However, the writers of the US sketch claim it is simply a case of great minds thinking alike.

Jessica Blackwell and Brandy Finmark are credited with writing the Comedy Central sketch and both responded on Twitter.

Blackwell wrote, "Never saw your video but I like it!" before adding that she and Finmark had written the sketch more than a year ago.

Finmark added: "We would never steal from other writers - just on the same page!"


Blackwell has since contacted Kiwi producer Eli Matthewson to explain the situation, with Matthewson later saying: "I don't think they intentionally ripped us off."

But it would appear Blackwell has some close Kiwi connections.

In 2014, she produced the series Only in HelLA, starring Kiwi actors Fleur Saville and David de Lautour.

Saville is friends and former co-stars with two members of the Funny Girls team - writer Nic Sampson and actress Kimberley Crossman.

Sampson and Saville star together in the upcoming mini-series The Video Store, while Crossman and Saville were co-stars on Shortland Street for several years.

After initially commenting on the situation, Blackwell has now gone to ground, making her Twitter account private and blocking her earlier Tweets.

Comedy Central has yet to comment on the situation.

Watch the original Funny Girls sketch here:

And the Comedy Central sketch:

- nzherald.co.nz

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